The Connected Person
Welcome to Engineering Live, “The Connected Person”!
David Mantey: The industry is rife with expanded interconnectivity, operability, and communication. Wearables in the eHealth industry is personalizing healthcare beyond anything patients have ever experienced as the Internet of Things has provided each of us with smart homes, built in our smart cities, powered by our smart grids. The technological convergence has created The Connected Person. This spectrum of connectivity gives us many incredible advantages, but also makes us susceptible to risks. So the concept seems as simple as it does complex.
Hi, I’m ECN editorial director David Mantey and with me today is Oleg Logvinov, chair of the IEEE P2413 Working Group and director of special assignments, Industrial And Power Conversion Division at STMicroelectronics; Robert Minerva, chairman of the IEEE IoT Initiative and the head of advanced architecture within Telecom Italia; and YK Chen, member of the IEEE IoT initiative, principle researcher of Intel corporation and associate director of the Intel National Taiwan University Connected Context Computing Center. Thank you all for joining me today.
Oleg Logvinov: It’s a pleasure.
David Mantey: Oleg, I’d like to start it off with you: You said that IoT is in its infancy, that we’re at a stage where technology meets policy. So who owns all this information and do we know yet?
Oleg Logvinov: Yes, we’re just scratching the surface of what technology has yet to bring us. If you look at all of the applications today they’re pretty much limited to either smart home-specific applications that we see from Nest, or we see something very specific with street lighting…But yet we have yet to see how all of those domains and applications will start to interconnect together. When that happens, the main and the most challenging question will become, “How do we safeguard the data when it starts flowing from domain to domain, breaking those traditional vertical barriers?” And, “Who owns this data?” And whether we as consumers or businesses have the right to be forgotten or our data has the right to be forgotten? It will become something at the forefront of our discussions. It you look today, the issues related to the data are pretty regional. Independent of where you are in the world, which country, data privacy will be treated in very different fashion, in different ways. But we’re creating globalized technologies, global initiatives, and how do we marry those regionalized policies with global technology? That is the big question. And, by the way, to address that, IEEE has started the Internet initiative, where technology is meeting policy as a platform for technologists and policy makers to come together to solve those issues. This initially was launched last year and we hope that we’ll have the industry-- the entirety of the world, in fact-- to come together solving those issues by providing a platform for this collaboration.
David Mantey: Okay. Roberto, your thoughts?
Roberto Minerva: Yeah, I agree with Oleg. We are at the very beginning of a fascinating path. There are, as we know, differences in the way people think in different parts of the world. There are also different legislations. And I would like to make one point, for instance, related to the Internet: In Europe, the personal data are property of the person and they are regulated under strict privacy rules, while I think in other parts of the world, maybe in the U.S., for instance, the view that the industry has is more related to a customer relationship between the user and the service provider. So the regulation, the enforcement is quite different.
Internet of Things will exacerbate this issue, because imagine to enter into a room and a lot of data will be collected, or imagine to have personal gear on you that are taking measures of your heart beat or other vital information. But from this information you can collect a lot of information about the person. So there is a need from the technological point of view and the legal point of view to make a little bit of clearance of some privacy, security, and personal point. So I think it’s quite important to start from the very beginning considering a strong privacy statement from the point of view of the user.
David Mantey: YK, one of the biggest opportunities for IoT is personal health. So right now that means multiple devices for various health applications. How far are we from a single device for all applications?
Yen-Kuang (Y.K.) Chen: Today, I believe it will be a benefit to the user to have fewer devices for understanding human health conditions. Right? No matter if physical conditions or mental conditions. But, unfortunately, it’s impossible, in my opinion, today to have only a single device to handle all the information. The way I look at it is, the more information we collect the better result we can get for the end user. Let me give you an example: Today we have heart rate monitors. Or blood pressure monitors. Or even brainwave monitors. You can use those to monitor whether the person is under stress or not. But the problem is those devices are only capturing your physical information. It does not know what caused you to be under stress. It could be because you just read an email and your manager is saying something like the company’s laying off fifty percent of people. Your stress may come from that. There’s no way those physical devices attached to you will understand that because you read this email then you have a problem. And so in this case all the information needs to be integrated for that application or service to provide the best user benefit. So I think we need to integrate more devices, more information to benefit the user.
Oleg Logvinov: I would like to build on what YK just said, something very important in my opinion. It is not only the integration of data and the level of integration at a device level, it is the horizontal nature of the Internet of Things in terms of how the information is being proliferated and used. As an example, can we establish a link between my medical service that runs on my phone and runs in the cloud and my corporate email? Probably not. Probably corporations will not be willing expose corporate emails to the personal services. But is there an opportunity to create abstraction and meaningful analytics that can provide, as an example, distress in the case of reading email, in YK’s example, to my personalized health services so they can be integrated together? I think there is an opportunity for doing that. And I think that applies to a lot of things in the Internet of Things. It’s how we abstract the data, how we extract meaningful analytics and where the data itself cannot be shared. Can we share the abstraction or analytics based on those abstractions? That is an important question. And I think that actually will differentiate the Internet of Things-- what we used to know in vertical applications: How we can integrate this variety of data by augmenting the usual things and services that provide us with this horizontal connectivity.
YK Chen: I totally agree with Oleg that today many of the applications of fitness devices that we can purchase from a website or on the street are too vertical. They just focus on one thing. And they do that thing well, but in order to provide the best benefit we’ve got to integrate or find out how the information gets shared with others, right? And that is what Oleg’s working group is working on: trying to make sure we have a way to make everything work together.
David Mantey: Yeah, Roberto, that actually leads to my next question pretty well. Aside from the medical industry, where are the big design wins for IoT? How far are we from transforming all these disjointed applications into a common architecture?
Roberto Minerva: We are pretty far, from my perspective because I think so far many, many solutions in the industry are very, very vertical. They are just addressing one specific problem while the complexity of IoT spans over technical challenges, business models, and also social implications. For instance, when a doctor now visits a person, he has direct contact. There are rules for approaching the patient. In IoT maybe some of these rules will change. So we need to put in place some process and this process could be built into a software architecture that could govern the provision of services. On the other side, we have also technical issues: Sensors that are monitoring vital parts of the life of a person could be so secure and so resilient as to make sure that the data a doctor is receiving are real. Otherwise, his relationship with the patient would be at risk. So you see there are a lot of technical issues from the sensor, from the hardware up to the software platform, to the processes and to, again, social acceptance. So I think we are far from that, but we need to start with a bottom-up approach, having as many as possible data and sensors and starting to create a common software infrastructure. From my perspective, from a technical perspective point of view-- It’s important to have very nice and effective application programming interfaces that are able to get the data that we want. Then we can mix and match applications from different domains.
David Mantey: Okay. Oleg, I’d like to send it over to you. So perfect tech is possible if not improbable, but it’s not all doom and gloom. We’ve talked a little bit about how the media likes to focus on that, but improvements exist. Can you tell me about quadruple trust and how it fits into this vertical framework?
Oleg Logvinov: Absolutely. Well, look at what we’re working on in IEEE P2413, an architectural framework for the Internet of Things Working Group, focusing on how things are connected together, how we can bridge those vertical barriers and help systems originally designed for various applications to become essentially globalized and work on a unified platform. When you start considering the issues of security and privacy, safety of data and identity management come in place. And that’s essentially your quadruple trust. You need to understand where the data was originated, who was the owner of the data and is the owner of the data-- you need to understand how to safeguard the systems themselves so nobody can break in. And, of course, on top of it you need to layer with security related to access control, security of the data, security of the links, many of the security elements that go into the system design. Plus, of course, you need to make sure that privacy is protected based on the agreements of who owns this data and clearly understands what entails giving this data to the system. Because as an example, I may be okay releasing my heartbeat data to my doctor, I could be okay doing so with my health instructor, but I probably would not be as comfortable publishing it in the news, if somebody’s interested in listening, of course. So that’s a very clear example of how we need to make sure that we have ways of manipulating the levels of exposure and, you’re right, it’s not about creating perfect technology. A quest to a perfect technology may be way too long and probably even impossible or impractical for the implementations. What we need to create is a balance, a balance between how exposed our data is, how much we’re willing to expose, how much control we have over this exposure versus the benefits that we are getting back. And look at today’s kids: one is using Facebook to tell about last night’s party or a visit to your vacation spot. It’s pretty much an exposure of the data to the whole world. But all of the youngsters of today have embraced this level of exposure, including my daughter, because it gives a very convenient way of keeping in touch with family and friends. So there is a benefit and this benefit probably outweighs the risk of exposing this data. So the same applies to IoT. We just need to modulate and figure out what is this dial that we can turn to say, “Okay, we’re willing to expose data if we’re getting something back.” Or we don’t want to expose the data if it’s not beneficial to us.
David Mantey: Okay, Roberto, what are your thoughts on that balance that Oleg was talking about?
Roberto Minerva: Well, I would like to use a kind of metaphor. From my perspective the personal data are like the money. And so what you do with your money is put the money into a bank. Why? Because you want to have your money safe. And then you use a bit of that money for your daily needs or for other things. Data are like this. Then you go to the bank and you can decide, “Well, I would like to risk a bit. So why don’t we invest together a bit of my money.” That could be the same thing with data. So you can open up a little bit of your data for use to some other service provider, for example. Maybe you want to anonymize a bit of your data. And then if you are, let’s say, single, and not a father of a family, maybe you want to have a risky investment, you want to gain a lot of money and so you open up all your information to a service provider that can exploit your information and then they can return to you a little bit of return on the investment. So I think personal data are like this. And we need to figure out a way and some mechanism in dealing with these data captured from persons. From my perspective, the Internet is working a lot on personal data. The Internet of things will work even more on personal data, because you will be constantly monitored. Your physical parameters, your habits, the way you move in the city, the way you move in the world, everything will be available. Some, more convincing people say that the industry or some service provider are not monitoring the single person like Big Brother, but are just providing a service. Another point that is important is to convince people to share the data in a controlled way so as to encourage people to have altruistic behavior. For instance, monitoring the pollution from my balcony here in Turin, in Italy, and providing this information to my city-- it could be valuable as well as to share other information, the temperature and things like this, or to have a camera to take picture of the traffic that is under my balcony. So there is the need to ensure that the data are properly dealt with and also to push the people a little bit to see the benefit that sharing the data can produce on their lives.
David Mantey: Okay, Oleg, I saw you smiling a little bit, what are your thoughts on the metaphor?
Oleg Logvinov: I love this metaphor a lot. It’s very true. I mean data is our currency and this currency will become more and more useful and, yes, we do have some cases where people are spending this currency foolishly, gambling a lot. And we will see more and more of that gambling happening, but then we will probably get a little smarter about what we do with our data. But, Roberto, this is a great analogy you have. I love it.
David Mantey: Very good. I want to open it up a little bit more from a broad point of a view. In your opinion, who is the connected person right now?
YK Chen: Okay, in my opinion, everybody nowadays more or less is a connected person. You may not be aware that there are so many surveillance cameras on the street that are watching the traffic, watching the pedestrians, and so on, right? So, more or less, you are getting captured by the IoT universe, in some sense. But because there are more advanced people-- I could be one of them-- or there could be even more advanced people. If you go search on the Internet “quantified self”, there’s a source of people collaborating to understand how physical and mental behaviors work. They put bunch of sensors on their bodies-- last week I was wearing three watches; the reason I wear three watches is just to play around with the different devices, try their different categories. I think it’s a train that’s coming that everybody is, more or less, a connected person. And then the train is accelerating as more and more people buy these kinds of devices. Today a watch only tells you time. But if the watch tells you more information about yourself; I think you’re going to like it. Right? When you’re exercising, doing physical fitness, you want to get some results. I think this is a train that people will start to like it and start to enjoy it and buy more devices. These could be wearable, or could be devices in the home, right? Helping you to save energy at home. Or it could be on your car, making you drive more safely, right? I think that’s the train coming.
David Mantey: Okay. Oleg, I’d like to send it back to you, just because you had mentioned how data’s the new currency and how connected persons now are possibly gambling with that currency. Could you talk a little bit more about what you meant by that point?
Oleg Logvinov: Look at it this way. Did somebody really think about Google collecting access-- WiFi access points, addresses, and locations --years ago, that this data would become useful for your GPS systems? Probably not. At the beginning nobody had this concept and maybe even Google itself didn’t know. So now we have this massive amount of data that we’re storing about ourselves in the Cloud that potentially in the future becomes minable. And YK just mentioned a sensor that can actually measure your temperature. Well, guess what? What if you walk by the temperature analyzer in Taipei Airport and your temperature is being recorded and then correlated to your location based on your smartphone and all of a sudden somehow somebody at some point knows exactly what your body temperature was at the time you were walking by the camera. How can this data be used? We don’t know. Because today we can probably not estimate accurately the usages of the data and all of the scenarios of how the data can be interpreted in the future. So the reason I’m saying a lot of people are gambling by exposing lots and lots of data in the Cloud, is we don’t know what this data will tell about us to certain interested parties that may become interested in this data five, ten, twenty years from now. So we’ll see. We’ll see how this market evolves. I’m optimistic because to me exposing the data means that I’m buying something in exchange, using Roberto’s analogy. I’m using it as a currency to buy convenience and comfort. I’m augmenting reality in life around me to create this greater comfort and greater convenience for myself. It’s worth it, but we will see what happens with this data later on and what it tells about me.
David Mantey: Okay, well, we’ll see what happens, but for the sake of the “Engineering Live” broadcast, Roberto, what does The Connected Person look like in five years? What does this person look like in ten? Can we even predict that right now?
Roberto Minerva: I have in mind three different scenarios for the connected person, two of those I don’t like. Another one is a good one. So I would like to start with the controversial two. One example, the connected person could be a consumer. So you are always monitored. There are service providers that are collecting data about your habits, what you are doing, what is the color of your dress, and they are exploiting this information to send to you some invitation to buy things. So you will go around in the city and you would be overwhelmed with a lot of suggestions to buy things, a lot of advertising. That could be one extreme scenario. The other scenario could be even worse. We can call it the Big Brother scenario. So you will be monitored also by the government, and governed by the authority, or by your company in a very strict way. They know exactly where you are, the street you are walking in, the direction you are going to and this information is used to know a lot about you. The best scenario is, I would say, the citizen, the free person, he’s able to interact in a fair way with the intelligent environment. So I want to share my data, I want to get some services from the intelligent environment in which I’m immersed and I give some data, but I get some services. And there is also the possibility that I want to be totally disconnected. So there should be in the connected person the ability to totally disconnect and to be left alone without any monitoring stuff.
So to recap, there is the monitored customer, the Big Brother scenario, and the free person that is able to intelligently, in a smart way, use the services that the intelligent environment will provide. So I see three of these things. Maybe they won’t come out in five years from now, because from my perspective in five years from now we will have more vertical solutions, vertical services. But in ten years from now I think we need to sort out which scenario will be the one pursued.
David Mantey: Okay. Oleg, do you have something to respond or add to that?
Oleg Logvinov: Yes, absolutely. In fact, if you think about the third scenario that Roberto mentioned it’s not possible without policy.
Roberto Minerva: Imagine tomorrow a driving system based on cameras. Effectively, that means that whenever you’re on the street you’re being watched all the time by some form of cameras. Whether it’s a car-mounted camera, surveillance camera on the side of a building or in a window of some store, you’re constantly being monitored by everybody. So you need to have not only a technological solution of how to disable your connectivity, not the connectivity on yourself, but the ability of the environment to track you. But you also have to have a policy that allows you to just say, “Please, forget me. I don’t want to be monitored at the moment.” And, by the way, whether or not we’ll have such a policy is also a question and there could be benefits of not having such policy and there could be benefits of such a policy. As an example, if we could track our cities, probably the Boston bombing would not have been possible. So it can be about safety. We can increase safety by increasing surveillance. At the same time we’re losing privacy when we increase surveillance. So once again we go up against this balance. How do we combine the two? It’s a dichotomy. It’s, where do we set the dial so we’re comfortable with getting the value, but at the same time we’re not compromising our privacy.
David Mantey: Okay. YK, sorry that I interrupted you there. What did you have to add?
YK Chen: I want to go back to Oleg’s example about gambling with the data versus the value example. As a researcher on IoT I also am an incessant user of IoT. I have more than eighty devices at home and I have a bunch of wearable devices. The specific example that I want to talk about is the device on my car; it’s reading the data port out of the car and knowing the status of the car and it also has a GPS-- also can tell where the car is. So there are much more benefit of that devices. Number one, you can know where the car is; assuming one day the car gets stolen, I will be able to figure out where it is. Also, it also has additional benefits, like knowing the engine status and knowing my driving habits. So it can provide me advice: When I should send my car for maintenance, right? But there’s another important point. I got a device for free, from a company-- I’m not going to name the company, but it was free to me. And the company is collecting data through the device, and what does the company do? The company can sell car insurance to you. Or it can sell the information to the car insurance company as well. It’s like, “Is YK constantly speeding?” Or “He’s a really good driver,” right? “Never drives above the speed limits,” right? That information’s getting collected, but as a consumer of IoT I’m gambling in a way because I really want to see what the device can do. But there are more things they haven’t done yet. I was talking to the company, saying, “Well, since I have multiple routes to my company and sometimes I take A, sometimes I take B.” Maybe by me driving A ten times, B fifteen times, they can tell me which route’s faster and on what particular days. That requires you to collect all the information and later combine the data and try to figure out how that information will be useful as well. And today we’re just at the tip of the iceberg in collecting data and transforming the data into currency. That is the way I look at it.
David Mantey: Did you say you have more than eighty personal devices?
YK Chen: Yes, I have a bunch of devices at home. I think in the future everybody’s going to have a bunch of devices.
David Mantey: Well, YK, it seems like the next stage of IoT connectivity extends beyond wearables and eventually implantables. So since you’re an avid user, what are your expectations for implanted IoT devices?
YK Chen: I think there’s a trade-off we need to make between the benefit and the potential downside. Although I am so adventurous in getting bunch of devices in the house--I still probably say I will stay away from implantable for now, right? For people who have medical needs an implantable actually is not a bad idea. Consider that a pacemaker is such an implantable device, right? And a lot of artificial joints and so on. I think when there’s a needs and the benefit’s larger than the downside, people are going there. That’s how I look at it.
David Mantey: Okay. Roberto?
Roberto Minerva: Well, there is also a kind of philosophical issue related to implanting the sensor or other devices in the body of people. I fully agree in the case of a handicap or medical issue, but there is also a kind of philosophical group of people that are talking about trans-human and they are proposing to implant sensors and different things in order to improve how the human being behaves. And so it’s a kind of-- I have to say—a superior race that will come out from the mix of devices and people. I don’t want to enter into a discussion on this, but we have also to consider that putting too much technology in the hands of people, especially young people, could have some detrimental effect. So we need to be a little bit careful. So I totally agree for people with medical issues, it’s a great help. You can help really them, but we have to figure out a good trade-off between helping people and transforming people.
David Mantey: Yeah, that’s a really good point. So, Oleg, I was recently speaking with a member of the wearables community and he discussed the role of implantables similar to what Roberto was talking about in predictive and preventative human maintenance. What are your thoughts on that topic?
Oleg Logvinov: Well, it’s not only about wearables or implantables, Predictive maintenance is something that could be also around us. If the environment we’re in is capable, for example, of monitoring our heartbeat, our breathing patterns, our temperature, it doesn’t have to be in our body. It could be done with a very sensitive microphone or aids, or it could be done with infrared imaging. So imagine, somebody is aging-- and this is something that I am very familiar with. The expense that it is today to hospitalize somebody and have somebody in a specialized facility is enormous, plus it is taxing on human beings around him or her. Aging at home is much more comfortable, but we need to enable that through the devices that I just mentioned. We have an opportunity to constantly monitor vital signs, detect any kind of anomalies, not just with breathing, but with the patterns or movements throughout the home-- I’m sorry to say: flushing the toilet and many other routine things become so telling about our health condition and can become a tool that can allow us as we age to stay home longer and possibly be a little bit healthier because now we can predict some changes in our health based on that type of secondary science. So it’s not just implantables; it’s all sensors around us, inside of us, on us and around us working together to provide this meaningful data that actually allows somebody to detect analytics, extract analytics and tell us what to do next, and to me that is a huge value. Whether or not we’ll be able to prevent somebody to implant more and more electronics inside, well, we’ll see. But, you know, there is a notion of singularity that Ray Kurzweil is talking about and some people would be adventurous enough and would want to be augmented and become this super-human being. So now we’re talking about science fiction.
David Mantey: We’re talking about science fiction, but I don’t know how far in the future it is. And so, Oleg, what are the implications of the potential for such devices on the effect of free will?
Oleg Logvinov: Well, I think now we are starting to talk about really very, very big issues and that will take maybe another thousand hours of conversations or so, because, yes, it is possible to alter how we think by connecting us to a machine. You know, you can find tons and tons of science fiction novels that talk about it. And you can also find a lot of very essential articles analyzing what will happen if, as an example, our brain capacity is expanded by ten, twenty, forty-- whatever number of percentage points. And if we gain the ability, as an example, to grow additional senses. Intrusive? Nobody knows today what impact it will have on humanity, but I agree with Roberto: We need to be careful because we’re talking about the very transformational nature of this augmentation-- of the world-- that may happen. It can have a tremendously positive benefit, but we need to be cognizant of dangers and potential risks that we can bring with it. And that’s why we need to be human. I’m quite optimistic that we will.
David Mantey: Okay. Roberto?
Roberto Minerva: If I may, I have another example, a simple service for old people. Some people when they age, they don’t remember the way back home. So we could have a kind of collar with the location device that could be used by the relatives of these old persons to know where the person actually is. So we thought that could be a good service to sell, but it didn’t succeed. And the reason was that the old person didn’t want to go around in the city with a kind of collar because it was a sign that he was different from other people. So this will introduce two things that are relevant to Internet of Things: The acceptance of the people and also the transparency of the devices of Internet of Things. If that device was totally transparent, that person wouldn’t have had any problem in wearing it. Instead it was a sign of different behavior, a different condition. So another point is when the sensor will become really transparent in such in a way that we won’t even know that we are monitored-- we are back into the scenarios that we were discussing before: Big Brother. We will not trust the ambient environment in which we are immersed. So we need to really to think about the usage of the devices, how transparent they are, how their usage has to be and, especially, the user interaction and the interrelationship between the people and the devices is quite important.
David Mantey: Okay. YK, I saw that it kind of piqued your interest. Any response to that?
YK Chen: Yeah. So I think one thing that I want to mention that is quite different for many people: I have around a dozen cameras around my house. But-- and Roberto talked about Big Brother’s watching and people are afraid of having camera inside a house for many reasons, like privacy. Some people even tape over their laptop webcam to be sure nobody can watch them. I think that is a concern. It is a trait or it is a mindset and different people have different opinions, right? And I think the biggest thing is what we need to study—it hasn’t been studied yet-- is user perceptions about technology. The Internet of devices, that environment is watching. And today it’s a big unknown. Technology can build a smaller, more invisible camera and that can be a problem as well. We can do more analytics, understand the video, recognize the face, recognize the person, even recognize the emotion. These are the steps that facial recognition is building up to. But we don’t know yet how people might react to being watched twenty-four hours a day.
David Mantey: I guess we don’t know how people will react, but don’t you think that’s a generational thing? Some of the juxtaposition comes from a previous generation that fears Big Brother and another generation that just says, essentially, “I’m always on TV!”
YK Chen: That could be. I don’t know how my kids will react to the camera in the future, because they’re being watched by ten cameras at home most of the time. Maybe when they grow up they won’t care. And we do know the new generation likes to talk about what they have done, in Twitter, in Facebook, right? So they have a different opinion about privacy. But I think fundamentally what we still need to worry about is whether the data will be used in the right way or not. If used wrongly, it could be a big problem. I know friends who never post their kids’ picture on the Facebook, because they’re afraid…you can never know. Today when we think about everything there’s a benefit. We never think about a downside, so we are okay to go into that space. As a gambler I’m okay, but there could be someone that someday figures out how to use that information and start turning it around. For example, people who know how to hack into my camera system, they could easily know whether I’m home or not. Suddenly, they don’t need to come to knock on my door; they already know. And if I have a lock that connects to the Internet, they will be able to just use the password to unlock the door and come into house easily. So that is the downside that hasn’t happened yet.
Oleg Logvinov: The true reality of the matter is the fact that the true implication is not known yet. As an example, did we know some time ago that Facebook would be used in the hiring process? That somebody can actually look at your Facebook history and see if you’re a good employee? You probably didn’t even think about that. When we started storing pictures in the Cloud we did not know that facial recognition can actually help to trace you through all of the pictures and recognize that here you are with a glass of beer or here you are on that date when you were supposed to be Place X you were in Place Y. So things like that happen, right? And as we go forward in this connected world where we truly become connected more and more, I think we need to become cognizant that we need policies that will provide us with the right to be forgotten. Because if we don’t want to be exposed in certain scenarios and histories, we should have the right to ask services to forget us and not to expose our data. And that’s something that as an industry we have yet to develop.
David Mantey: Okay. Roberto, just because I really like it and I’m probably going to steal it as a headline, what are your thoughts on the right to be forgotten?
Roberto Minerva: I think it’s a right of the citizen. So if there is nothing against the law, I think a person should be able to re-collect all their data from, let’s say, Facebook or all other services and disappear. I think that is just fair. With the Internet of Things I have the impression that this will be even stronger. For instance, for cameras in the street in our cities the usage of those cameras is for security. But who will guarantee me that I’m passing by a bank and they are not monitoring me? it’s a location device, after all, the camera. So we should enforce, with the help of legislation, some rules on the usage of data. In certain case, if I’m, let’s say, in a dangerous city during the night, I’d like to be monitored by a camera of the bank; but in my daily life, no, I don’t want to be monitored. So we need to arrive at the point where the user, citizen, customer may decide what kind of data to use, what kind of information to collect, for how long and who has the right to use the data. There should be a kind of fair use contract between the user and the service provider.
David Mantey: Okay. I know that we’re coming up towards the end of the session here. So I wanted to pose this question to everybody. Oleg, I’ll start with you. What is it that design engineers or electrical engineers, our core audience, need to know about the future of IoT in order to better succeed, or just succeed, in the industry?
Oleg Logvinov: This is a very large question because it depends on what you do in your daily life. IoT represents itself in so many different ways. Certainly, communication technologies, right? IoT will require pervasive, low power, very efficient communication technologies, semiconductor processors. Today we’re introducing the FD-SOI process, with a Fully Depleted Silicon On Insulator, to enable low power semiconductors with high densities. Well, you can excel in that dimension. Data analytics, data reduction-- you can excel in this domain. Security-privacy aspects: how to create a system that, by default, is designed as a secure system? How to put the device in an encrypted fashion so nobody can compromise your boot process and interject a Trojan Horse in your code? All of those elements and I can probably go for another hundred hours depicting different areas of expertise that can be very useful for IoT. IoT is a very multi-faceted subject. You need architects, you need semiconductor designers. You need software designers. You need Cloud architects, you need data architects, you need data analytical experts. So a very, very large number of disciplines. So it’s a great market for people who are now entering their educational process and looking at what do to with their knowledge later on. It’s an exciting time to be an engineer.
David Mantey: Okay, Roberto, same question. What do design engineers need to know?
Roberto Minerva: Well, I just want to add something more with respect to what Oleg was saying. From my perspective, it’s important to understand that the Internet of Things is really a combination of technologies. And one other point is that when we will have, let’s say, billions of different sensors, the process, the way of monitoring-- the way of managing stuff will totally change. We are entering into a real application of complex systems. So I think the science of complex systems will add a boost with Internet of Things, especially when we will have large-scale deployments. That is something that is quite interesting from the engineering point of view, to study the behavior of people with respect to complexity. I think that is something that could be really, really exciting for new engineers.
David Mantey: Okay. YK?
YK Chen: Yes, I agree with Oleg and Roberto, and on top of what they said, I want to emphasize one point. It’s about collaboration. It’s about multi-discipline collaborations. In the future the IoT services application is beyond our imagination about what we can do. Let me give you example. Today if you want to do fitness trackers, if you want to do health devices, you know, an engineer is no longer just an engineer. You need to work with physicians, doctors, to make sure those devices are useful for the people. And in the future when we need to connect dots from-- could be random subjects, right? We need to be able to connect the dots, and the best thing to do is collaboration. I think in the future there is lots of opportunity for multi-discipline collaboration. This is something that we emphasize a lot in terms of just having a communications person work on communication. But you need a communications person to work with the data scientist in all senses working together. I think collaboration is the beginning of the future.
David Mantey: Okay. Well then tying a bow on it, the last question that I have for you all is-- I’ll start with you, YK, are you, based on everything we’ve talked about today, are you a connected person?
YK Chen: Yes. I have so many devices. Or maybe I should say, “No. I just wish I can do more.” I have so many devices at my house, in my car, in my wearables. I think this is just the tip of the iceberg. I think in the future people will get more devices and try to see things that we cannot see today. If you look in my face you probably don’t know my heart rate today. But today actually medical sensors can capture that, the micro-pulses on the face, and start to interpret what my heart rate is and whether I get nervous by the question you ask me. Today sensors can do that. We’re going to see way more sensors getting connected to collect information we cannot see. And then getting into the Cloud to compute and think about something we cannot imagine, to predict something that maybe will be useful to all of us. So that is something that I’m really excited about and that’s why I’m happy that I’m in the research field and I’m also a user.
David Mantey: Okay. Roberto, are you a connected person?
Roberto Minerva: I think I am a connected person and what I don’t like about being a connected person is not to be able to differentiate my role. I am always connected and at certain times I would like to be connected as an employee of my company, part of the time as a private person, and I would like also to be able to program and to decouple the two personalities or the two personae without any interaction. Instead they are put together by the technology. So one point that I would like to make is, we have to work a little bit on the private side of the person, the official or the work side of the person, and to try to decouple the two things, because they could be misleading, in a way. The behavior of when you work is totally different, or completely different, of your behavior when you are a private person. So I think I’m connected-- I have a lot of devices -- but I also like to have personalization.
David Mantey: Okay. Very good. And Oleg, I’ll end with you. Are you a connected person?
Oleg Logvinov: Well, remember Star Trek where every crew member had a tricorder in hand?
David Mantey: I do.
Oleg Logvinov: So today we do have tricorders. It’s our smart phone. For as long as you have your smart phone, you are a connected person by virtue of a smart phone. You don’t need any other devices. A smart phone takes so much information about you, about your environment, about your movement. So, of course, I am a connected person. Do I like everything being connected? Probably not, but do I like the convenience of being informed all the time and getting traffic information and getting weather information? Sure. I love it. And that makes all of us connected people today, because I don’t think that you’ll find anybody without a smart phone. Well, maybe a very small population, but it’s getting smaller and smaller. So we are connected. We have to just live with that and learn how to make the best out of it.
David Mantey: Okay, well, very good. Thank you all very much for taking the time today. Really appreciate it, great discussion. For Oleg, Roberto, and YK, I’m ECN editorial director David Mantey and this has been Engineering Live, “The Connected Person”.
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